cemc CUP is 9. FINAL:
EDINBURGH V ULSTER
Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Sat 20 Dec
Rugby rarely offers time for reflection. He who hesitates gets hurt. Not even winning the World Cup, as the triumphant English players found, stops you being pitched straight back into training four days later. But then that’s the way Mike Blair likes it.
‘For those of us at the World Cup, coming back was easy because we’ve gone straight into
the high pressure club stuff,’ says the Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby scrum-half. ‘It makes it easier to maintain the right level of intensity.’
As well as contests in the European Cup, the 12st 61b 22-year-old will be hoping to shrug off a knee injury for the Gunners’ massive Celtic Cup Final clash against a powerful Ulster side. Not least because he’s desperate to play. ‘Australia was a great experience: this huge global competition in a country I’d never been to before. But personally it was a wee bit frustrating because with the captain Bryan Redpath playing in my position, I was on the bench for every game except the USA.
‘80 it’s important for me to get a run with Edinburgh. This is a big thing for me and the team as well. Ulster have a lot of strength and depth in their squad and they gave the Borders a good stuffing. It’s the first time we’ve been in a major inter-country final and it’s a big opportunity to put
Edinburgh rugby on the map.’
Blair will be helped by having fellow international Chris Paterson alongside him. The wing and full-back recently won the try of the year award for his awesome effort for Scotland against South Africa. ‘If you’re familiar with a voice or the way the guy outside of you plays then that’s an advantage,’ says Blair. ‘It certainly helps to have Chris outside me for
And he thinks the national stadium setting will raise expectations further. ‘Playing at Murrayfield should attract a good crowd. We’re the Scottish pro-team the public look to to get the best results and we’ve been steadily improving. It’s time we did something in Europe.’ (Jay Richardson)
Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least ten days before publication. Sports listings are subject to change, so please check in advance. Listings are compiled by Maureen Ellis.
I Rugby: Glasgow Rugby v Montpellier llughendcn. 32 llughenden Road. 353 3468. 7.30pm. £15 £17
(£6 £7). (ilasgow play the return leg of this liuropean Challenge Cup rugby match. I Basketball: Scottish Rocks v Chester Jets Braehead Arena. Kings liich Road. 561 1140. 7.30pm. £7 £10
(£5 £8). Chester put the Rocks otit of the Cup last season. Can the Rocks repay the compliment at Braehead‘.’
I Football: Partick Thistle v Aberdeen liirhill. 8(1 l-‘irhill Road. 579 1971. 3pm. The woes of l’artick’s first half of the season could be forgotten with a good display against the Dons. Can (ierry Britton inspire his side to do the deed on- lield‘.’
I Football: Celtic v Dundee (‘eltic Park. Kerrydale Street. l’arkhead. 551 8653. 3pm. The debt-ravaged Dundee sidc travel to Celtic Park with beads held high. Martin ()‘Neill's men should erase that confidence.
I Football: Hearts v Kilmarnock 'l‘ynccastle Stadium. (iorgie Road. 200 7201. 3pm. Willi llearts comfortably aiming for a litiropean slot next season. Killic will need to raise their game to be in with a chance of competing for third place. I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Hull Stingrays Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10 (£6): family ticket £26. l-‘indtis Cup ice hockey match.
I Athletics: 10th SPAR European Cross Country Championships llolyrood Park. 53‘) 7235. 9.30am. See photo caption.
I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Guildford Flames Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10(£6): family ticket £26. l‘illtllls Ctip ice hockey match.
OutSIde the cities
I Motor racing: Hot Hatch Knockhill Racing Circuit. Knockhill. Dunfermline. ()1383 723337. 10am 4pm. £7 £40 (£3). A special race meeting with modified and import cars.
I Gymnastics: Christmas Display Kelvin llall International Sports Arena. 1445 Argyle Street. 287 5948. 6.30pm. £3
(£1.50). Young gymnasts aged 3 17
.' showcase their talents at this annual
display. which. this year. takes on the theme of ‘Snow and Ice.
I Horse racing: Musselburgh Races Musselburgh Racecourse. l.inklield Road. Musselburgh. 665 2859. 12.15pm. £10 £15 (£5; under 16s free). National hunt racing.
Glasgow I Football: Rangers v Hearts lbrox Stadium. lidmiston Drive. 0870 600 1993.
3pm. l-‘our goals down from the earlier
meeting in the league. can the Jambos
regain some pride in front of the lbrox
Edinburgh I Rugby: Celtic Cup Final
Murrayfield Stadium. Riversdale Crescent.
()870 040 1925. 2.30pm. £15 £20 (£5 £10). See preview.
I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals ' v Bracknell Bees Murrayfield Ice
Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10(£6): fatnin ticket £26. l-‘indus Cup ice hockey match.
I Football: Hibernian v Dunfermline liasler Road. 12 Albion Place. 661 1875. 3pm. Both sides will be
hoping that this fixture is tnore productive
than their last 0 0 meeting. if only for the sake of dwindling attendance figures.
I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Kirkcaldy Kestrels Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £6 (£4). SM. League ice hockey match.
Outside the cities
; I Horse racing: Ayr Races Ayr Racecourse. 2 Whitletts Road. Ayr. ()1292
264179. 12.55 3.35pm. £8 £15. National llunt racing.
I Rugby: Glasgow Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby llughendcn. 32 llughenden Road. 353 3468. 2pm. £10 £14 (£5 £7). The first meeting of the two rugby sides in the current Celtic League. Save for
’ a major upset. expect the away side to win.
I Football: Celtic v Hibernian Celtic Park. Kerrydale Street. l’arkhead. 551 8653. 3pm. Celtic have looked unstoppable so far in the league this season. The visit of Bobby Williamson's men is unlikely to change that forth.
I Football: Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Firhill. 8i) l‘irhill Road.
579 1971. 3pm. The l’ars travel to the north ' of (ilasgow to have their day with the
league's whipping boys. Let's hope the
Jags can provide a few shocks.
I Football: Hearts v Motherwell
3 'l'ynecastle Stadium. (iorgie Road. 200
- 7201. 12.30pm. This season’s unlikely
third place competitors travel to 'l‘ynecastle
: intent on taking all three points.
Glasgow I Basketball: Scottish Rocks v i Newcastle Eagles Braehead Arena.
Kings Inch Road. 561 1140. 5pm. £7 £10
(£5 £8). The Rocks are back on form in
the BBL. Vocal support should lift spirits in
, preparation for the Cup game in January.
Edinburgh I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Camperdown Stars Murrayfield lcc
Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. £6
(£4). SNI. league ice hockey tnatch.
I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Newcastle Vipers Murrayfield lce
Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm.
Tuesday 1 6 '
£101£6); family ticket £26. l-‘BNl. League ice hockey tnatch.
I Horse racing: Musselburgh
Races Musselburgh Racecourse.
Linklicld Road. Musselburgh. 665 285‘).
12.55pm. £10 £15 (£5: under 16s free).
See Tue 16.
New Year’s Day
I Cycling: Edinburgh Bicycle Triathlon llolyrood Park. 556 1761. 12.30pm. Free for spectators. (let on your
bike courtesy of the Edinburgh Bicycle
Cooperative as part of the New Year revelrv.
i I Athletics: One O’Clock Run
llolyrood Park. 556 1761. 12.30pm. l’ree. Take a nice new year‘s jaunt frotn the castle to the palace.
I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Newcastle Vipers Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10 (£6); family ticket £26. The annual Capital
Cup ice hockey match.
I Football: Celtic v Rangers Celtic Park. Kerrydale Street. l’arkhcad. 551 8653. 12.30pm. (ilasgow's football titans clash in the glamour New Year
fixture watched by millions around the
world. Celtic have the advantage so far but Rangers will be looking to spoil the
party on Parkhead turf.
I Football: Hibernian v Partick Thistle liaster Road. 12 Albion Place. 661 1875. 3pm. The Jags head east to
take on a struggling llibs side.
Edinburgh I Ice hockey: Edinburgh Capitals v Dundee Stars
Murrayfield Ice Rink. Riversdale
Crescent. 337 6933. 6pm. £10 (£6); family ticket £26. 15indUs Cup ice-hockey match.
CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
This world-class cross country event attracts some of the top athletes the continent has to offer. Paula Radcliffe won the women’s event in 1998, so expect the athletics stars of tomorrow to turn out in their droves. Events start at 9.30am and there’s plenty of family entertainment to boot.
I 70th SPAR European Cross Country Championships, Ho/yrood Park, Edinburgh, Sun 74 Dec, 9.30am.
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